Home » addiction » Family therapy: Is it important when battling addiction?

You never have an addiction alone; it always has an impact on those around you. That is why it is important to implement family therapy during a treatment.

What is family therapy?

Systemic therapy is also called relationship and family therapy. The main feature of systemic therapy is that family members, friends or colleagues are also involved in the therapy.

A person with an addiction may be unintentionally helped by his or her mother by her continuing to give him or her money, or solving the problems that arise as a result of the addiction for him or her. Unknowingly, she is perpetuating her child’s addiction. She is part of the addict’s system, and by involving her in treatment, the maintenance of addiction can be broken.

System therapy consists of individual sessions and family nights. During systemic therapy, much attention is paid to the mutual relationship and how to improve it. Direct relatives often also have many questions about the addiction or eating disorder. Systemic therapy is used for both outpatient day treatment and inpatient day treatment.

How the system works

In system therapy, the psychologist often first tries to understand how the system works. What is everyone’s position? For example, is the system a close-knit team that stands strong together, or does someone fall by the wayside? It can also be investigated how the system came to be in this way. Often several generations are looked at. A father or mother who was raised with the idea of always having to be strong and never being allowed to show his or her emotions, will probably also pass this on to his or her child(ren).

Communication: where it goes wrong

Within systemic therapy attention is paid to, among other things, the way people communicate with each other. It often happens that people blame each other, or bring up all kinds of other things from the past during a discussion (old hat), or that they attack each other personally. It is no longer about the content of the message, but about the way it is presented.

How to do it better

Within systemic therapy, the psychologist pays attention to better ways of talking to each other. For example, always speak in the first person, and be concrete and specific, without mentioning all kinds of irrelevant things. In addition, the tip is often given not to talk to each other when someone is very angry or stressed, but to first calm down and then come back to it. A system that constantly has conflicts can be instructed to also pay attention to the positive things. Because of all the conflicts, people are so focused on the things that are not going well that they forget to look at things that are going well.

Why system therapy for addiction?

Family systems always develop in unique ways, where each individual in the family develops a particular way of interacting with each other. These patterns are disrupted if an individual within the family develops an addiction. The way the family worked as a unit will be completely overthrown. In the addiction recovery process, it is important to involve the entire family. Addiction is not only difficult for the individual in question, but also for those involved. Therefore it is essential to provide a separate program of family therapy.

The family therapy program in addiction care

Family therapy in addiction treatment is crucial to comprehensive recovery. When someone in the family develops an addiction, the other family members will also react differently. This can manifest itself through feelings of guilt, and feeling responsible for the family member’s addiction. It can also manifest itself in feelings of resentment, and pointing the finger at the addicted family member. Family therapy in addiction treatments will:

  • Provide insights regarding addiction
  • Establish and maintain healthy boundaries
  • Effective communicate among family members
  • Developeffective and healthy coping strategies
  • Treat feelings of resentment
  • Find ways in which family members can support each other

Family therapy at Hacienda Paradiso

If you or a loved one has developed a any addiction, help is available. At Hacienda Paradiso, we focus on complete and lasting long-term recovery.

Our approach is non-judgmental and highly therapeutic. Our medical experts and clinicians will design a treatment plan specific for you and your loved ones.

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